Today is the last day of August, so we are saying goodbye to summer with a very summery recipe using our go-to summer ingredient: tomatoes. We love tomatoes in the summer, as they are at their best during this time of the year. So we pick them to make our tomato passata. Using nothing but tomatoes and no added salt, this ingredient is as close to the flavours of nature as you would expect. We cook with it during the winter, as we wait for the new tomatoes next year.

In this recipe however, we’ve only used fresh tomatoes, as a way to say goodbye to a sweet, sunny summer.

This recipe comes from the island of Santorini, and traditionally the local variety of small cherry tomatoes is used. Look for tomatoes with a thick flesh as they will add structure to your fritters. We’ve added our favourite fresh and dried herbs, but as always feel free to omit anything you don’t like, or add anything you prefer. And yes, us Greeks fry our fritters in olive oil, so do give it a try!

Serves 6

6 medium tomatoes
2 medium onions
1 large bunch of fresh mint
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
½ tsp dried spearmint
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
salt, pepper (to taste)
2 eggs
70g graviera cheese
150g feta cheese
150g flour
plenty of olive oil (for frying)
chilli vinegar (to serve)

Roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Very finely chop the onion and add it to your tomatoes. Let it rest until you prepare the rest of your ingredients. The juices of the tomatoes will soften up the onions.

Very finely chop your fresh herbs. Grate your graviera cheese. Crumble your feta cheese.

Add the fresh herbs, dried herbs and cheeses to your bowl and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the flour and mix everything well together. You should have a thick batter, resembling a slightly thicker cake batter.

Place a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add your olive oil. Start with 5cm. Warm it up until simmering. Add one tablespoon of your mixture, carefully so as not to overcrowd the pan. The fritters should be partially submerged in the olive oil.

Fry until golden on the one side -be patient, it takes a few minutes. Flip and fry until the other side is golden too. Remove your fritters and let them rest in paper towels until you finish frying.

Serve drizzled with chilli vinegar!


This week we’ve got a wonderful summer recipe for you!

The simplest version of the classic recipe calls for okra, olive oil, onions and tomatoes. As with most traditional Greek recipes, there are endless variations. For instance, my mother simply adds a bit of cinnamon and sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Others add a shot of vinegar. No matter the recipe, feta cheese is always served on the side. Here, we took inspiration from the past and created a wholesome dish that is sure to become a summer staple.

For this recipe you can use fresh or frozen okra. Just make sure to be very gentle when you stir your okra, otherwise it will break down. We’ve used our small sun-dried tomatoes, aged balsamic vinegar and orange-blossom honey to add aromas and depth to our tomatoes. We are also baking the okra in the oven, adding cheese – manouri and feta cheese! Of course, feel free to omit the cheese if you are vegan.

Serves 2 with leftovers

425g okra
1 large onion
1 bottle tomato passata or 3-4 tomatoes crushed
30g sun-dried tomatoes (reserve the oil to use in salads or dressings)
1tbsp tomato paste, mixed with ½ cup 100ml warm water
½ cup (100ml) olive oil
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey (we used orange blossom honey)
salt, pepper
cinnamon (optional)
100g feta cheese
100g manouri cheese (at our shop Borough Market or Spa Terminus)

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Cut the onion in half-moons and place in a medium-sized baking tray. Add the okra, tomato passata, sun-dried tomatoes and gently stir everything together.

In a large mug add the tomato paste and warm water, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and gently stir everything together, until the paste has dissolved.

Add to your tray with the okra, season with salt, pepper and cinnamon (if using). Stir everything together.

Bake at 180C for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so. You can leave it for longer, up to two hours, if you want your okra mellow and very soft.

Cut the cheeses into cubes and once the okra is cooked, add the cheeses and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread – I personally prefer okra at room temperature, but hot or cold actually works wonders with this dish!

 


Today is tsiknopempth! It is the Thursday very close to the beginning of Lent for the Greek Orthodox Easter, where traditionally we consume meat. And if you’ve ever been to Greece you will know that one of the few things that go perfectly with meat are pies!

Traditionally, pies were peasant dishes, in which people would use literally whatever they had available. Greens from the garden (spanakopita!), cheese from their animals (like in this bulgur wheat pie), you get the idea. But of course, they are quite sophisticated dishes, as they can be elaborate in their making, this is why they are usually made in large trays. But fear not, this is a simple recipe, open to all! It will require some time, so consider this a Sunday affair. Or you know, make it any other day of the week, days seems to have blended into one now that we are in lockdown.

For this one we’ve used the last pumpkins of the season, a very appropriate goodbye to one of our favourite autumn/winter vegetables -yes we are now ready for wild garlic, bring it on, spring!

Serves 12

1.5 kg pumpkin (around 1.350gr flesh)
1 large onion
4 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper (to taste)
85g Carolina rice
250g feta cheese, grated or crumbled
1tsp dried spearmint
2 eggs
8 sheets filo pastry
150g olive oil

Using a sharp knife, cut your pumpkin into smaller pieces. Peel the outer layer. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Coarsely grate the flesh.

Peel and finely chop the onion.

In a medium-sized pot, place the olive oil and onion over medium heat. Cook until caramelised, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the pumpkin and stir well. Season with salt and pepper (but do not add too much salt, as you’ll be adding the salty feta cheese afterwards). Once the pumpkin starts cooking, lower the heat and slowly cook, stirring often for 15 minutes, until soft and tender. Add the rice, stir, and cook for another 20-25 minutes, stirring often.
-Yes, this is a recipe that requires care. But it’s also very relaxing as a process.

You will know that your filling is ready, once the pumpkin is soft and the rice is al dente but not fully cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven at 180C.

In the meantime, prepare your filo. Brush your baking tray with olive oil and place one sheet of the filo. Brush with olive oil again. Cross over a second sheet of filo, ensuring that the entire surface of your tray is covered. Brush with olive oil. Continue crossing over with olive oil and filo, using four sheets in total.

Return to the filling. In the cool pumpkin mixture, add the spearmint, feta cheese and eggs and mix everything together. Check for seasoning and adjust. Place the filling in your tray, careful not to break the filo.

Cover with one sheet of filo and brush it with olive oil. Repeat until the top is covered with four sheets of filo. Tuck in the edges. Brush the top with the remaining olive oil.

Score the pie and bake at 180C at the lower rack of your oven for about one hour.

Enjoy!


The inspiration for this recipe came to us from the classic Greek winter salad: boiled broccoli and cauliflower. This is a simple salad that usually accompanies fish, or other main dishes. Broccoli and cauliflower are cut in large pieces, boiled and then served with olive oil and lemon juice. It is very seasonal and in many households it is the salad which replaces the summer Greek salad.

So after a short trip to the market this week, we bought wonderful winter vegetables and decided to boil them, just like in the classic recipe. But of course, we will kick it up a notch. We’re adding our marinated artichoke hearts with leeks, olive oil and sunflower oil. They are perfect to enjoy on their own, but here, they completely transform our vegetables!

Often, recipes call for draining the artichokes -remember our tomato rice from a few weeks ago? It is, however such a pity to let all all this amazing flavoured olive oil go to waste. So we have decided to use it instead of a dressing! And of course, our beloved feta cheese turns this salad into a wonderful lunch! Add a few splashes of lemon juice or vinegar and you’ve got yourselves a delicious – and very easy to make- winter salad! An ode to the classic one.

Serves 2

1 small head of broccoli
1 small head of cauliflower
½ jar marinated artichoke hearts (in their oil)
150g feta cheese
salt, lemon juice or white wine vinegar (to serve)

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower in large florets. Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Boil for a few minutes, until you’ve reached your desired tenderness. We boiled ours quite a bit, to have the same texture as the buttery artichoke hearts, but you can also simply blanch them by submerging them for a few minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.

While the vegetables are still warm, place in a large bowl. Add the artichokes and their oil. Toss everything together until the vegetables are coated in the olive oil. Crumble the feta cheese and add to the salad.

Serve warm, with salt if desired and lemon or vinegar.

 


Christmas is usually the time of the year when we cook the most. Tables are set, various platters of all sorts of foods come out, guests are fed. This year however, things are a little bit different. Most of us are not hosting like we used to, and many of us are already quite tired from the long year we’ve had.

So what do we do at times like these? The answer is simple. We source delicious ingredients, like our meze box, we unbox and plate everything and there we go, ready for Christmas!

This week we have a recipe that is perhaps one of the simplest ones to make. And requires very few ingredients. If you, like us, feel like resting this Christmas, then this dip is all you need. With some crusty bread or Cretan kritsini breadsticks, olives and cheeses (yes also in the meze box!), and you are sorted for an alternative Christmas dinner, lunch or dare we say breakfast?

1 jar roasted red peppers
150g feta cheese
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
1 tbsp grape molasses
nigella seeds (optional, to serve)

Drain the peppers.

In a blender whiz together the peppers, feta cheese, olive oil and grape molasses.

Let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Serve with nigella seeds and olive oil.


This week, and for the next couple of weeks, we’ve got three very summery recipes for you, from Amaryllis from The Tasty Other. Amaryllis is one of our favourite guest chefs in our dinner experiences and cooking workshops. She has a pure love for food, a fascination with tradition and gatherings, and great passion about storytelling through photography. You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Amaryllis, right below. Enjoy!

One of my favourite dishes (and certainly my favourite summer dish) is gemista, chubby tomatoes & bell peppers stuffed with rice (or bulgur) and herbs and baked until soft, bubbly and delicious. It really is the quintessential Greek summer dish and though I never tire of it, this time it only served as inspiration, allowing orzo, another favourite of mine, to take centre stage. A delicious minuscule pasta, which tastes delicious both straight out of the oven and at room temperature, orzo is widely used in Greek cooking. Here I’ve stuffed roasted peppers with a very seasonal orzo pasta salad: juicy cherry tomatoes, which I’m never without in the summer months, red onion, lots of herbs, and a few of my favourite Oliveology products: black Kalamata olives and artichokes, all dressed in white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and finished off with homemade golden oregano breadcrumbs.

Ingredients
4 red bell peppers, halved, seeds discarded
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
1 cup orzo
About 15 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup jarred artichokes, whole or roughly chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch of mint roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle over the peppers
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

For the homemade breadcrumbs:
3 slices stale bread
1/2-1 teaspoon dried oregano
Zest from 1/2 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
Big pinch of salt

Method

Put the bread in a food processor & pulse until you have thick breadcrumbs; toss with the oregano and lemon zest and add to a hot pan, along with a good drizzle of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 7’, or until golden. Remove from the heat, add a good pinch of sea salt flakes and set aside until ready to use. (You can store any leftovers in a jar for up to a week).

Preheat the oven to 200C (180 Fan); place the peppers & garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with some olive oil, add a good pinch of salt and bake for 20’-25’, until soft, but still holding their shape.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in plenty of salted water for about 10’, drain well and add about a tablespoon of olive oil; set aside to cool a little and then toss with the tomatoes, olives, artichokes, onion, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic and black pepper.

Take the peppers out of the oven and squeeze the garlic cloves off their skin; add to the orzo and toss again gently. Scoop the salad into the halved peppers, finishing off with feta crumbles, a light drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkle of the breadcrumbs.


One of our favourite routines during the summer has always been a weekly visit to the farmers’ market. Of course these days things are a bit more challenging and many of us prefer to stay at home and have our vegetables delivered to us. Nonetheless, I’m sure that all of us have by now managed to source lovely seasonal produce, one way or another.

And summer is the season for aubergine, courgettes, peppers! So this week we’ve thought of an easy way to prepare all these colourful vegetables, and turn them into a very filling summer dish! As with most of our summer recipes, this is great served hot, but you can also enjoy it at room temperature, and yes, it’s excellent eaten cold too! For this recipe we’ve used various of our dried herbs. They are organic and wild, hand picked from the mountains of Epirus, in the north-west Greece. They add a wonderful complexity to our vegetables. And to make this dish quite filling, this week we’re cooking with our favourite bulgur wheat. Remember last year’s bulgur summer salad, or our take on the Greek salad with bulgur wheat? It’s an ingredient we absolutely love!

Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main

100g bulgur wheat, plus 1.5 cups of water
3 peppers, approx. 250g (we used colourful ones)
2 courgettes, approx. 250g
1 aubergine, approx. 250g
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried herbs (oregano, thyme, spearmint, basil, we used ½ tsp from each)
zest and juice from ½ lemon
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar with honey
100g feta cheese

Place the bulgur wheat and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until tender and all the water is absorbed, around 10-15min. Set aside.

Cut the courgettes and aubergine in small bite-sized pieces. Make sure they are all equal, so that they cook evenly. Cut the peppers in thin strips.

Toss the vegetables together with the olive oil and all the herbs and place in a baking tray, all in one layer.

Bake at 180C until tender and slightly charred, around 20’.

In a bowl toss together the bulgur wheat, roasted vegetables, lemon juice and zest, vinegar.

Serve with the crumbled feta cheese and more olive oil and vinegar to taste.


This week we’ve got a very fresh, summery recipe from Ligia from TheDaringKitchen. Ligia shares our passion for fresh, healthy food – with a Greek twist of course! You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Ligia, right below. Enjoy!

Summer is here, which means fresh produce abounds! Make the most of the season’s finest veggies with this summery Greek Kale Salad. It’s filled with briny kalamata olives, juicy tomato, sweet onion, creamy feta, and finished with a simple vinaigrette flavoured with fresh oregano.

The salad is best if it’s left to marinate for a few minutes before serving. This softens up the kale, making it a bit more digestible and flavourful. It also uses two kinds of kale for a bit of flavour and textural variation, but you can always use just one, depending on what’s available near you.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

Dressing:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

Salad:
1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tomato, sliced
½ white onion, sliced
¼ cup Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Fresh oregano, minced, for garnish

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, mustard, oregano, garlic, pepper, and salt.

Add the kale, tomato, and onion. Toss to coat fully in the dressing.

Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Toss in the olives and feta cheese, just before serving.

Enjoy your salad!


This week we’ve got the ultimate Greek summer dish for you! Kolokuthokeftedes. Or, as this dish is also known zucchini fritters. This is one of the quintessential Greek summer dishes, that one finds in every taverna by the sea. They pair perfectly with a crisp dry white wine and are one of our favourite things to order when eating al fresco, by the beach, under the shade of trees and with cicadas all around us.

So this week, we decided to bring you some Greek sunshine to our urban table and make it ourselves. Marianna and I spent quite some time discussing different variations of this recipe and going through cookery books. You see, as you may know about Greek food, there are endless variations for each recipe.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for Oliveology’s Kolokuthokeftedes! And, to make things a bit more interesting, we have served this dish with our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil. Trust us, it works! And of course, with plenty of tzatziki!

Serves 6
1kg zucchini
1 large bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of spring onions (approx. 5)
100g feta cheese
100g graviera cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
150g all-purpose flour
salt, pepper
olive oil (for frying)
lemongrass and tarragon olive oil (to serve)

Grate your zucchini and place in a clean tea towel. Squeeze it, so that all liquid is released and you are left with a dense ball of grated zucchini. Place in a large bowl.

Finely chop the parsley and spring onions and place in your bowl.

Grate the feta cheese and graviera cheese and mix into your bowl with the vegetables.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs with the dried herbs, oregano and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir very well, until everything is combined.

Add the flour, one tablespoon at the time, stirring well. You should be left with a moist mixture that can be shaped as a ball without falling apart.

In a frying pan place plenty of olive oil, so that the entire bottom of the pan if covered.
Using your hands or two spoons, form small, flattened patties and place in the frying pan, a few at a time. Fry until golden brown, flipping them half-way through, about 4 minutes in total.

Serve with lemongrass and tarragon olive oil and tzatziki.


Autumn is here! Usually at this time of year many of us are struggling to leave summer behind. All of us at Oliveology found that the best way to change seasons is to make foods that will make us excited about what’s ahead.

This week we are using the last grapes that we find at the market and some lovely pears that are now beginning to come. If you prefer you can use just grapes or just pears. Or create your own flavour combinations!

But we are not making a sweet tart. We are pairing sweet fruit with our organic feta cheese. And some Greek yogurt! Remember our leftovers tart from a few months back? Or our colourful squash tart from last year?  This lays somewhere in between!

We’ve also added some walnuts. Some fragrant thyme honey and our 21 walnut oil drizzled on top takes this tart into a whole other level. It is perfect with a green salad as a main, or you can cut it into small pieces and serve it at a buffet.

Feeds 4 as main

1 sheet puff pastry (approx. 300g)
150g yoghurt
100g feta cheese, grated
2 small pears
150g grapes
25g walnuts
a few springs of fresh thyme
wild thyme honey (to serve)
21 walnut oil (to serve)

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Roll out your puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet. You can use greaseproof paper, or make sure to oil the baking sheet so that your tart doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry across all of its surface. Put the puff pastry in the oven and bake for 5 min, until light golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Leave the oven on.

In the meantime, finely slice your pears, removing any seeds. Slice each grape in half. Chop your walnuts. Pick the leaves from the thyme and discard the stalks.

Spread your yogurt on top of the puff pastry, so that it covers its entire surface. Sprinkle the grated feta cheese. Make sure it goes everywhere. Place your pears and grapes on top. Sprinkle the walnuts and dried thyme.

Place the tart back in the oven and bake for 20-25min or until the cheese has melted and the fruit is soft. Your puff pastry should be dark gold. Remove from the oven. You can serve warm, but it’s equally good at room temperature.

Before serving drizzle some thyme honey and the walnut oil.